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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Relaxation

Unzen Onsen 雲仙温泉

Historical hot springs resort

Famed for its seasonal sweeps of color, and the natural hot springs that pour from the earth, the Unzen area was named Japan's first national park back in 1934. A popular base from which to explore nearby Mt. Unzen, Unzen Onsen is most renowned for its outdoor hot spring fields and healing properties of its sulphuric waters.

Don't Miss

  • Relaxing in the healing waters of Unzen Onsen
  • Unzen Lemonade, the perfect way to cool down after walking around this steamy town
  • Tasting eggs soft-boiled in the sulphuric onsen waters

How to Get There

Reach Unzen Onsen via bus or car.

From Nagasaki City, it takes 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive to Unzen.

Buses run to Unzen Onsen from Shimabara Port, Shimabara Station and Isahaya Station with journeys ranging from 40 to 90 minutes. Buses to and from Nagasaki, taking about 100 minutes, are less frequent.

History of the hot springs

Unzen was quickly established as an onsen town due to the abundance of its hot springs. In the 1910s, Unzen was further developed as a summer resort due to an influx of non-Japanese visitors. Since then the town has grown in popularity with international and Japanese visitors alike.

A dark history

Another big pull of the area are the so-called Hells of Unzen. Specifically for viewing, these hot spring fields surrounding the town bubble to the ground's surface, hissing up plumes of white gas and letting off a sulphuric smell. In many places, you can even see parts of the road bubbling from the heat simmering just below its surface.

Named 'jigoku' for their hell-like appearance, these natural hot spring fields were once a place of torture. During 1628 to 1632, many Christian martyrs met their deaths here because of their religious beliefs.

Look out for the monument erected out of respect for those who perished.

Beauty is more than skin deep

Despite Unzen Onsen's odorous smell, Unzen spring water has marvelous qualities due to its acidic hydrogen sulfide. Containing antiseptic properties, this water is said to be good for beautifying skin.

Other beneficial properties include easing back and muscle pain as well as helping with fatigue, diabetes, and a number of other ailments.

Bathe your feet

Should your time at Unzen Onsen be limited, consider a visit to the free Unzen Foot Onsen. With only ten seats allocated around this small hot spring, it remains a popular spot for refreshing one's weary feet after hiking around the local area.

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